Vanessa Bryant Reflects on First Meeting With Late Husband Kobe Bryant

Vanessa Bryant recently marked the anniversary of the day she met her late husband Kobe Bryant by sharing a throwback photo of the duo taken 24 years ago.

By Elyse Dupre Nov 28, 2023 4:17 PMTags
Watch: Vanessa Bryant Honors Kobe Bryant for His 45th Birthday

Vanessa Bryant is looking back at how her love story with Kobe Bryant all began. 

The wife of the late Lakers legend marked the anniversary of when they met by sharing their first photo together

"24 years ago…. Day 1," she captioned the throwback on Nov. 27. "#1999 11/27/99." 

Kobe previously reflected on meeting Vanessa on a video set in 1999, back when he was pursuing a music career before reaching basketball stardom.   

"It was a two-day video shoot, and I was always looking for her. Like, I wanted to know where she was," the athlete recalled in his 2015 documentary Kobe Bryant's Muse. "I would finish a take and then go to my trailer, but I'd wonder where she is the entire time and then come out of the trailer and just want to talk to her some more in between takes and stuff like that. And she wrote her phone number down at the time when you had to still write phone numbers down, and I called her the very next day. We talked for hours."

Kobe Bryant: Life in Photos

Over the years, Kobe and Vanessa—who tied the knot in 2001—continued to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting. In fact, they would often go to one of their early date spots, Disneyland, with their daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.

"On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant," Kobe wrote on Instagram in November 2019. "I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre."


Months later, in January 2020, Kobe and Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven others. Since their deaths, Vanessa and her children have continued to honor their legacies

"My gorgeous Gigi and handsome boo-boo," she captioned a December 2020 tribute to Gianna and Kobe. "Mambacita and Black Mamba forever."

To see some of their family photos from over the years, keep reading.


"Happy Birthday B.B. I Can't believe you are 3 already!" Kobe wrote on Instagram back in December 2019. "We love you little mamacita."


Pool Time

"My Bianka Bella Bryant (BBB)," Kobe wrote on Instagram back in November 2019.


"Happy Thanksgiving! Thankful for my family!" Kobe wrote via Instagram back in November 2019.


The Bryants dressed up as characters from The Wizard of Oz back in October 2019.

Baby On-the-Way

Vanessa showed off her baby bump at the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala in Los Angeles.

"My Gigi"

"My Gigi," Kobe wrote on Instagram back in September 2019.

Love & Basketball

The father-daughter duo sat courtside at the the Lakers vs Mavericks game at the Staples Center in 2019.

Lots of Hugs

"@vanessabryant surprised me by bringing our two little babies B.B and KoKo to my @granity book signing of #legacyandthequeen at @barnesandnoble," the caption of the September 2019 post read.

Mother's Day

"Happy Mother's Day @vanessabryant we love you and thank you for all that you do for our family," Kobe wrote on Instagram back in May 2019, about a month before Capri's birth. "You are the foundation of all that we hold dear. I love you #mybaby #lioness #mamabear #queenmamba."


A Father-Daughter Duo

"Had a great trip to @uconnwbb for senior night and the retirement of basketball legend @promise50 with my baby Gigi," Kobe wrote on Instagram in March 2019. "Thank you Gampel, Thank you Coach Geno and Cd for the warm welcome. Good luck the rest of the way."

Basketball Buddies

Kobe and Gianna Bryant shared a special moment at a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks.

Family Fun

Vanessa, Kobe, Natalia and Gianna attended the world premiere of A Wrinkle in Time in Los Angeles back in 2018.

Smiles in the Sunshine

"Surprise family trip to Cabo for my bday #bryantbunch #40 #queenmamba #mambacitas," the caption of the 2018 post read.

Fond Memories

Kobe and his family members attended a women's basketball game in Los Angeles back in 2017.

An Unforgettable Moment

Kobe was all smiles as he posed with his family members during his jersey retirement ceremony in 2017. Magic Johnson was also there.

A Dad and His Daughters

Kobe attended the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards with Vanessa, Gianna and Natalia in 2016.

A Loving Family

Here, the family members were pictured at the Tribeca Film Festival.

All Smiles

Bryant celebrated his major win with his daughter Gianna by his side.

Hugs and Kisses

Warming up! The basketball icon got a sweet hug from his daughter ahead of his game at the NBA All-Star Game in 2016.

A Proud Father

Kobe's wife and daughters attended his hand and footprint ceremony in Hollywood, California back in 2011.


A Day at Disney

Kobe, his wife and their daughters celebrated the Lakers' NBA championship at Disneyland in 2010.

A Winning Team

The basketball star celebrated a Lakers victory with Vanessa and the kids at a parade in Los Angeles back in 2009.

"Daddy's Little Princesses"

During a 2017 interview with Extra, Kobe referred to his daughters as "Daddy's little princesses." Here, he was pictured with Vanessa and Natalia in 2007.

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App